TORRINGTON, Conn. — A Connecticut woman said she was verbally attacked while nursing her baby at a department store in Torrington on Monday morning.
Jessie Maher, of Collinsville, said an unidentified man told her that she could not breastfeed in the cafeteria area of the Target on East Main Street around 11:30 a.m.
According to Maher, the man told her that what she was doing was disgusting.
“I am feeding my baby, and I have the right to do it here,” Maher told the man.
The exchanges became heated between Maher and the man. The whole incident was caught on her camera by Maher.
“Because I am feeding my baby this man is going crazy and I’m shaking,” Maher said in the video.
The man demanded a refund from the staff because she was breastfeeding in public. An unidentified woman came to her aid along with the Target staff.
“You shouldn’t be ashamed of feeding your baby. He can go the other way. This is a beautiful moment. If he doesn’t like it he can go,” the unidentified woman is heard saying in the video. “Then don’t look, okay? I’m here to protect her.”
The man apparently left the store very shortly thereafter.
“The amount of people coming at me to defend me was amazing,” Maher said. “Everyone that was right in that area was there for me defending me, so it felt really good.”
Maher said the Target employees told her she was free to breastfeed her baby anywhere in the store. Eyewitness News reached out to Target media relations and they confirm they allow nursing inside their store.
“At Target, we want all of our guests to feel comfortable shopping with us. Our breastfeeding policy, which applies to all stores, is just one of the ways in which we support our guests. Guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable,” Target said in a statement on Monday.
Target said customers can use fitting rooms to breastfeed their babies.
“For this particular incident, the team members at the Torrington store were simply helping to ensure this guest and others had a great experience,” Target told Eyewitness News.
Maher posted the video on Facebook and it already has had more than 1,000 shares. Many people commented in support of Maher.
“With all the hate going on in the world. You pick your battles. This is not a battle to fight,” Maher said. “A woman feeding her baby. It’s pretty ridiculous he needs to know that and other people need to know that too.”
Maher said she intends to contact police and file a police report.